Organic Certification Program

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Certification Program is an accredited certifying agent of the USDA’s National Organic Program. ISDA has been serving the state’s organic community since 1990, when the Idaho legislatures passed the Organic Food Products Law (Title 22, Chapter 11, Idaho Code). In 2002, ISDA became one of the nation’s first accredited certifying agencies. Today we certify over 230 operations.

What is Organic?

According to the USDA, organic is a labeling term that indicates that an agricultural product has been produced by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Use of sewage sludge, irradiation, genetic engineering, and most synthetic fertilizers or pesticides is prohibited.

Interested in Becoming Certified Organic?

Organic certification (PDF) verifies that your farm or handling facility located anywhere in the world complies with the USDA organic regulations and allows you to sell, label, and represent your products as organic. These regulations describe the specific standards required for you to use the word “organic” or the USDA organic seal on food, feed, or fiber products.

To begin the certification process:

  1. Click on the scope(s) of certification you wish to pursue (crop, livestock, or   handler/processor) to find the applicable forms.

  2. Submit an Application, Organic System Plan(s), and application fee.

  3. The application materials are reviewed by ISDA.

  4. An on-site inspection is conducted.

  5. Inspection report and supporting documents are reviewed by ISDA.

  6. Decision of certification is made.

Benefits of Organic Certification (per USDA NOP webpage)

Becoming certified organic helps farmers:

  • Receive premium prices for their products

  • Access local, regional, and international markets

  • Protect natural resources

  • Support local economies

  • Access additional funding and technical assistance programs

Organic Certification Fees
  • Application Fee is based on annual gross organic sales.

  • Inspection Fee is based on the inspector’s time and travel.

    • Rate: $35.00 per hour and $0.535 per mile; or the cost of a contract inspector.

Please contact the ISDA for a customized fee estimate. On average, operations receive their organic certificates within three months of applying. Other Resources lists documents and references that can help you with organic certification.

Notice: Repeal/Discontinuation of Idaho Organic Registration for Operations with Annual Sales of Less Than $5,000 in Gross Organic Sales pursuant to 7CFR Part §205.101

Looking For Organic Products?

Idaho's diverse landscape and innovative people produce a wide variety of high-quality organic crops and livestock. The USDA Organic Integrity Database will assist you in locating organic products, producers, and handlers that provide the quality and service for which Idaho is known. In addition, the National Organic Program maintains a list of certified organic operations located throughout the world.

USDA Organic Integrity Database

Interested in Being a Contract Inspector for ISDA?

Review the linked “Price Agreement Procedure Memo” and submit the required information under “Annual Review of Qualified Inspectors”. Please email your documents in to Johanna Phillips, Organic Program Manager at Johanna.Phillips@ISDA.Idaho.Gov. Please carefully review the entirety of this policy memo, and note that the Program Manager will be in contact with you during the annual inspector review process.

Price Agreement Procedure Memo

Looking for USDA Organic Cost Share Information?

The 2017 Organic Cost Share Program